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Blue Jay Athletics History

Athletics History

Introduction

  • It is one of the great ironies in the history of Elizabethtown College that the inception of a program which has brought such recognition and respect to the institution was resisted so successfully for so long. Although Elizabethtown College was founded in 1899, it was not until December 8, 1928 that the first officially sanctioned intercollegiate athletic contest was held. At Elizabethtown, unlike many other institutions, intercollegiate athletics was not simply assumed to be an essential part of the life of a college.
    • Although the value of physical education alongside academic endeavors was emphasized early in the history of the College and participation in it was a requirement for students, actual competition was frowned upon by the College's Church of the Brethren-run administration, which viewed highly competitive, forceful contests as being out of tune with its peace-oriented values.
    • Attitudes at Elizabethtown gradually changed, and much of the impetus for this change came from the students themselves. By the 1920s, a thriving culture of highly competitive intramural competition had developed on campus, much to the chagrin of some and much to the delight of others. In 1923, the College purchased land upon which to create what is now Lake Placida as well as several athletic fields and facilities. In 1926, a student organization called the Athletic Association was formed for the express purpose of promoting the acceptance of sports at Elizabethtown.

1920's

  • Official recognition of intercollegiate athletics finally came in 1928 with the hiring of Ira R. Herr as the school's first coach and athletic director, although he faced an uphill struggle in the early years to get funding and administrative support.
    • Students soldiered on independently as well, most famously forming an unofficial Elizabethtown College football team in the fall of 1928, playing a full slate of intercollegiate games, losing all of them, and quickly folding due to lack of official recognition and financial support. Decades later, this sorry saga would prove the inspiration for shirts lauding the grand accomplishments of "Elizabethtown football: undefeated since 1929."
    • Following that experience in futility, officially sanctioned college sports took hold to stay later in 1928 when Coach Herr led the fledgling men's basketball team to a 27-22 victory over Millersville December 8 en route to a 5-12 season.
    • One of the things that made Elizabethtown College unique was its support, sometimes whole- or sometimes halfheartedly, of women's intercollegiate athletics alongside men's athletics right from the start. The women's basketball team also got its start in the 1928-29 academic year under the direction of head coach Harry Bower. Early in its history, the women's basketball program faced the challenge of not having many other collegiate women's basketball teams nearby to play, the result being that the lists of results from those early years include such esoteric opponent designations as "Eighth Ward, Lancaster; "Fifth Street Methodist Church;" "E-town Jasperettes;"and "St. John's Parish,"among others, as well as after several years the College's own alumnae, in addition to more typical collegiate opponents.
      • One of the gyms in which the basketball teams played in the early years is today's Tempest Theater. Of one looks closely at the structure of the inside of the theater, telltale signs of the building's original design can still be observed.
    • Making halting starts in the spring of the 1928-29 academic year were intercollegiate men's tennis, which competed for several seasons before folding, as well as the first incarnation of intercollegiate men's track and field, which promptly disappeared after a few meets in the spring of 1929.

1930's

  • The next intercollegiate varsity sport to be added was baseball in the spring of 1930. Men's soccer was added in the fall of 1938, allegedly as a way for Herr to get his basketball players in shape for the winter season.
  • It is interesting to note that Elizabethtown College's athletic teams were not, as many believe, always known as the Blue Jays. Originally, E-town teams were referred to alternately as both the Gray Ghosts and the Phantoms. While one could imagine that a mascot costume for a team with such a name would be far less bulky and easier on its wearer than most, Herr apparently never liked those monikers, and he eventually established the Blue Jay as the official mascot due to its possession of the school colors and its reputation as fighting, scrappy bird.
  • Elizabethtown's teams improved significantly in the 1930s. After going 6-18-1 in its first four seasons, Herr took over the head coaching duties of the women's basketball team and guided it to a 6-4 record in 1932-33, its first winning season ever. The 1934-35 women's basketball team posted a 9-3 record, and the 1935-36 team went 11-0-1, setting a record for winning percentage (.958) that stood as the program's high-water mark until 1982. Mary Jane Strite averaged 17.1 points per game over the course of her career from 1937 to 1941, an average that remains the fifth-highest in program history today.
    • The women's basketball team was so successful in the 1930s that Elizabethtown quickly became an anomaly for the times, with the women typically outdrawing the men in attendance. Unfortunately, despite the success, some socially backward attitudes prevailed at Elizabethtown. According to A History of the Elizabethtown College Athletic Department, written by Karen Wilkins in 1977, "During the first year or two of intercollegiate competition, the women's team played prior to the men's games. Herr recalled that, although the women were leaders in basketball, the administration had not quite swallowed the idea of females participating in sports and receiving such attention. As a result, women's and men's games no longer coincided."
    • In 1935, Harold Newman '38 of the men's tennis team advanced to the Middle Atlantic Tournament in White Sulphur Springs, WV, where he reached the semi-finals and defeated players from Penn State, Pitt, and the University of Virginia in the process. From there, he advanced to the 1935 National Intercollegiate Tennis Tournaments, held at Northwestern University, and he made it to the third round.
    • The baseball team had its first winning season in 1936, going 8-2, and it went one better in 1937, posting a 9-1 record. The men's basketball team had its first winning season in 1937-38, going 10-8.

1940's

  • As the 1940s began, Elizabethtown's development in sports continued but was quickly stunted as student enrollment was pilfered by military service following the entry of the United States into World War II in December 1941. A telling example of how geopolitical problems wreaked havoc with E-town athletics is demonstrated by the record of the baseball team during the early 1940s, as the 1941 team set a record for wins by going 10-4 and did not play again until the spring of 1945, when the team went 3-7. Also rendered defunct by reduced enrollments during the war years was the men's soccer team, which managed to win two out of just three games played in the fall of 1942, but did not take the field again until 1947.
    • Intercollegiate basketball did survive during the war years, as the women's basketball team, which by this time had already developed its fearsome reputation among opponents, finished .500 or better every season during the 1940s and went 9-3 in 1943-44 and 9-5 in 1944-45. In 1943-44, Annette Mumma averaged 23.8 points per game for E-town, the fourth-highest single season average at E-town ever. While the men's basketball team continued to play throughout the war, it did so in seriously diminished capacity, going 9-8 immediately before the war in 1940-41 and going 2-14 the following season. As soon as the war was over, the team rebounded to 6-5 in 1945-46. There were some bright spots during this period for men's basketball, however, most notably that of Guy Buch '45, who led the country in points per game in 1945 with 23.7.
    • In the late 1940s, E-town athletics resumed its upward mobility. Varsity men's tennis was launched with Herr at the helm in the spring of 1947, and the team went 24-2 in the course of its first three seasons, including a 9-0 record in 1949. The men's soccer program made its comeback in the fall of 1947 and immediately went 3-3, and the baseball team went 8-6 in 1948 to post its first winning record of the post-war period. The 1947-48 women's basketball team went 12-2-1, setting a program record for wins that would not be broken until 1977-78. LaRue Monn '50 emerged as the women's basketball team's top scorer of the period, averaging 16.6 points per game from 1946 to 1950. The men's basketball program got its first taste of glory as the 1940s wound down, going 13-11 in 1947-48 and 17-7 in 1948-49. Frank Keath '49 became the first 1,000 career point-scorer in College history, leading the nation in scoring at one point and finishing his career with 1,873 career points, a record that would remain intact until 1987.
  • Amazingly, Herr was the sole head coach of all of these sports at the time. He finally got some help in 1949, when J.H. Dodd took over the reins of the men's soccer team, and in 1950, Stanley "Whitey" Von Nieda became the head men's basketball coach.

1950's

  • The varsity athletics program at Elizabethtown continued to grow in the 1950s. Also, a watershed event for Elizabethtown athletics occurred in 1954 when the College joined the NCAA. However, E-town was also able to be a member of the NAIA at the same time during the period.
    • Field hockey was added in 1952 under Evelyn Heath, and the team had its first winning season in 1955 under the direction of Julia Risser, beginning a streak of ten seasons with winning records. The field hockey team followed that performance with a 10-1 season in 1956, setting a record for wins that would not be broken until 1975. In all, the field hockey program went 36-20-8 during its first eight seasons of existence in the 1950s.
    • Risser also took over the women's basketball team from Jane Ulmer, who took over from Herr in 1954, and guided the team to an 8-2 finish in 1956-57. From the 1949-50 season to the 1958-59 campaign, the women's basketball program posted a 61-49-2 record.
    • The wrestling program was added in 1954 under the direction of Robert Byerly, and Richard Hershey took over in 1957-58. The wrestling team's top mark in the 1950s was a 4-6 finish in dual matches in 1956-57.
    • Ira Herr instituted the men's cross country program in 1956. In those days, the emphasis in cross country was on winning dual meets, and the Blue Jay harriers posted their first winning mark with a 6-2 record in 1958 and improved to 7-3 in 1959. The runners during this time were provided with extra motivation from an overly-helpful friend in the animal kingdom, according to a newspaper account quoted by Wilkins: "Two Jay harriers ... finished their daily practice tour of the local cross country course and reported that, as usual, they had been chased by a huge police dog... Coach Ira Herr admitted that the dog shows up regularly to greet his runners... It's no wonder that the Jays have been turning in some fine times in practice... Now you know what they're looking for when they finish a race glancing anxiously over their shoulders. It's not the opposition they're worried about."
    • The 1950s were a booming decade for the other sports at E-town as well. The men's soccer program began its rise to national dominance under Dodd, who led the program from 1949 to 1952, and the team continued to build under D. Paul Greene, who coached the team from 1953 to 1957. By the time Ira Herr took over the program once again in 1958, E-town soccer was a force to be reckoned with.
      • The 1951 men's soccer team finished 3-4-1, and it was the last time the men's soccer program had ever completed a season with a record below .500. The 1952 team began the now 52 season long streak of .500 or better seasons with a 6-2 finish. Key players in the early days of the Blue Jays' soccer dynasty included the likes of John Dean '53, George Heisey '55, Harvey Jacobs '55, John Ferich '56, Dick Stine '56, and Bob Wert '57, among others.
      • An interesting side note from the mid-1950s is that it witnessed the men's soccer team's first experiment with hosting a night game under the lights. A playing field near the Elizabethtown College campus recently had lights installed, and Elizabethtown scheduled a home game on it against Wilkes in either 1955 or 1956, which the Blue Jays lost. Due to the fact that special soccer balls had to be purchased for night games (most soccer balls at the time were brown, and the white balls which were necessary for play at night were not cheap commodities then), the experiment was quickly ended. Also, after a pair of home night losses, some began to believe that the lights simply were, to borrow a word frequently used by generations of E-town soccer players, "unlucky."
      • Jinxes involving lights aside, success continued to mount for the E-town men's soccer program in the 1950s. In Greene's final season, 1957, the Blue Jays went 8-2 to set a program mark for wins, and E-town equaled that feat the next season, Herr's first back at the helm. The 1959 team did even better, finishing 9-1-2 overall and winning the College its first conference title, taking the Middle Atlantic Conference crown. The 1959 men's soccer team also finished as the NAIA national runner-up, marking the first time an E-town sports team advanced to a national championship contest.
    • The men's basketball team also soared to new heights in the 1950s. Von Nieda led the team to 14-9 and 13-9 finishes in 1950-51 and 1951-52, respectively. Joseph Todd took over the program in 1952-53, and Greene guided the team in 1953-54. Donald Smith arrived as the head men's basketball coach in 1954-55, and he promptly guided the team to another 14-9 finish. The 1955-56 team set a new program record for wins, going 18-6 overall, and the team went 15-7 in 1956-57. From 1950-51 to 1958-59, the men's basketball program registered a 115-85 record. Bill Foster '54 finished his career with 1,148 points, and Bill Pensyl '60 totaled 1,372 points in his career.
    • The men's tennis team posted 6-2 and 7-1 seasons in 1952 and 1953, respectively, and Donald Smith took over the head coaching duties from Herr in 1955. The team went 42-54 during the decade of the 1950s.
    • The baseball team earned a pair of NAIA District 30 championships in the span of three years from 1957 to 1959, going 14-6 in 1957 and 14-4 in 1959. The team posted a 95-70-2 record during the 1950s, with players such as Nelson Chittum '55, Bruce Wohnsiedler '58, Glenn Crum '59, Gene Wise '59, and Gene Bucher '58 starring for the Blue Jays during that time. Jim Sarbaugh posted a career batting average of .402 between 1955 and 1958, setting a program record that remains intact to this day.

1960's

  • The 1960s opened with a bang for Elizabethtown athletics, as the men's soccer team captured the first national championship in College history in the fall of 1960. Although the team did not repeat as MAC champion, the Blue Jays did make the NAIA playoffs again, and they advanced all the way to the national championship game, where they battled Newark College of Engineering (now New Jersey Institute of Technology) to a 2-2 tie to share the national title and finish the season with a 10-1-1 overall record. Following the season, Warner Cheeks '61 and Carroll Hershey '61 became the first Elizabethtown athletes to be honored as All-Americans. However, it was the last year for coach Ira Herr, who retired after leading the baseball team to a 12-6 finish in the spring of 1961.
    • The spring of 1961 was also the first season of existence for the women's tennis program, which got off to a 5-2 start in its first season under Julia Risser. Allegra Hess took the reins of the program in 1962 and led it to another 5-2 finish, and she guided the team throughout the 1960s. Hess also took over the women's basketball program in 1961-62 and led it to a 60-35 record through the 1968-69 season. Anne Sharpe '64 and Susan Kerchner '68 emerged as two of the team's top players during that period, with Sharpe scoring 24.0 points per game in 1962-63.
    • Owen Wright took over the men's soccer and baseball programs in the 1961-62 academic year. He led the men's soccer team to a 79-15-3 record from 1961-67, and the team rattled off a school-record six straight MAC titles from 1962 to 1967. Al Hershey '64, a two-time All-American in men's soccer at E-town in the early sixties, came back to coach the team in 1968 and led it to an 11-2 record, and Wright came back in 1969 and guided the team to a 10-2-3 mark. The Blue Jay men's soccer team competed in the NCAA Atlantic Coast Regional Championship in 1962, 1963, and every year from 1966 to 1971. E-town men's soccer players earned All-America honors eight times between 1960 and 1969.
    • The fall of 1961 witnessed the play of possibly the greatest team ever assembled in college history. The field hockey team that year, under the direction of first-year head coach Jean Ann Rogers Finkbiner, went 8-0 and never allowed a goal. The team played half of its games against present-day NCAA Division II teams, and the Blue Jays out-scored their opponents 41-0 over the course of the season. Eight members of the 1961 team were named All-State honorees. Unfortunately, there was no post-season structure in place for women's sports during that era, so it is impossible to know just how far the 1961 team's considerable talents could have taken it.
      • Linda Eshleman '63 became the field hockey program's first All-American in 1962. Ruth Nearing took over the field hockey program in 1963 and led it to a 5-2-1 finish that year, as well as a 6-4 mark in her final season of 1966. Yvonne Kauffman became the head field hockey coach in 1967.
    • The wrestling team posted its first .500 finish in 1962-63, going 6-6 under Lester Baum. Ted Roscher led the team to 7-3-1 finish in 1963-64, and Ken Ober took the reins of the program in 1964-65. He led the Blue Jay wrestlers to a 54-14-1 record in dual meets between then and the 1968-69 season. Earl Brinser '69 became the first E-town All-American wrestler in 1968.
    • Ober also took over the men's cross country program in 1964 and led it to an 8-4 finish that year. In 1965, the men's cross country team went 11-1, won its first-ever MAC title, and finished 26th in the nation out of 56 teams at the NCAA College Division national championship meet in Chicago, IL. In 1966, Ted Bond '67 finished second overall at the MAC Championships, and he along with Bill Doherty '67 competed as individuals at the NCAA College Division championship meet again, this time held in Wheaton, IL.
    • The men's and women's swimming teams made their debut in the 1964-65 season under the direction of John Tulley and Ruth Nearing, respectively. The E-town women's swimming team had its first winning season in 1966-67, going 3-2, and the men's swimming team posted its first winning record in 1967-68, going 7-3 and quickly becoming one of the best teams in the MAC by the end of the decade.
    • The men's basketball program experienced a heyday in the early sixties, going 68-19 from 1961 to 1965. The 1963-64 team won the program's first conference title, reached the NCAA College Division tournament for the first time ever, and went 20-5, setting a team record for wins that stood for nearly four decades. Ted Roscher took over the team from Donald Smith in 1964-65, and he led the team to a 19-3 mark. Leroy Heckman took over the team in 1966-67 and guided the team to a 14-8 record, and Robert Garrett became the head coach in 1967-68, taking the Blue Jays to a 12-10 record. Dan Reitmeyer '65 set the program record for most career rebounds of 1,219 that remains intact today.
    • Although the men's tennis team struggled throughout the 1960s, Robert Garrett took over the program in 1968 and began to build it back into the powerhouse it was in its early days.
    • The golf team was founded in 1965, and it posted its first .500 season in 1969, going 7-7 in dual matches.
    • Owen Wright led the baseball team to its first MAC title in 1964 as it went 13-5. The 1968 team set a new program record for wins, going 16-6 overall. John Tulley guided the team for a season in Wright's stead in 1969 and led it to a 13-7 mark. In just three seasons, Ray Diener '65 struck out 264 batters to set a program career record that still stands today. Amazingly, he compiled that total in just 172-2/3 innings of work. His 93 strikeouts, accomplished in just 56-2/3 innings in 1962, remains tied as the single-season E-town record. During the same time period, Gene Maderness struck out 259 batters from 1961 to 1964, the second-highest career total at Elizabethtown.

1970's

  • The 1970s brought great changes to Elizabethtown College athletics. The NCAA split into three divisions, with E-town joining Division III, a move that brought an end to athletic scholarships. Thompson Gymnasium was dedicated in 1970. Women's sports gained the opportunity to compete for conference championships for the first time, and owing to the NCAA's glaring lack of recognition of women's athletics that persisted through the decade, an organization called the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) was formed in 1971 and began to conduct regional and national championships. Also, the number of opportunities for women to compete in athletics at E-town were expanded with the addition of volleyball and softball as varsity sports.
    • Elizabethtown quickly moved to the forefront of the new competitive opportunities offered in women's athletics. The women's basketball team won its first MAC championship, which was incidentally the first contested by the conference in the sport, in 1976. It also won the Eastern AIAW regional tournament championship in 1978. From 1970-71, when Yvonne Kauffman took over as the team's head coach from Cathy Clemens, who led the team for one year in 1969-70, to 1978-79, the women's basketball team compiled a 99-50 record. Geri Bradley '81 scored 682 points in the 1977-78 season.
      • The women's basketball team played an 11 game schedule in 1970-71. By 1977-78, the team played 25 games in a season, a total comparable to what men's basketball teams had been playing for years. There was also a tremendous shift in the nature of women's basketball in the early 1970s. Before that time, women's basketball was played with half of the players called forwards, who could only play on the offensive side of the court, and the other half known as guards, who were only allowed to play defense on the other half of the court. Eventually, a roving position was added as well, including a player who could roam the whole length of the court. The number of dribbles a player could take before having to stop and either pass or shoot was limited as well. All of those restrictions were removed in 1970, making women's and men's basketball essentially the same game for the first time since the first couple of years immediately following the sport's invention.
    • The field hockey program also wasted no time in taking full advantage of the new post-season opportunities afforded it, winning the first MAC title contested in 1975. The team also won the Penn-Mar Conference championship that year and set a new program record for wins, going 14-2-1. The team repeated as MAC and Penn-Mar champion in 1978, going 13-3 and making its first AIAW tournament appearance. The Blue Jays returned to the AIAW tournament in 1979 with a 9-5-1 record. At the start of the decade, the field hockey team was usually playing only 10 or 11 games in a season, but by the end of the 1970s, the average total of games in a season was 16. Throughout the period from 1970 to 1979, the field hockey team compiled a 86-35-16 record.
    • In women's tennis, Kauffman took over as the head coach in 1970 and guided the team to a 72-11 record from 1970 to 1979. From 1972 to 1975, the team rattled off a 29-match winning streak, and the team posted four undefeated seasons in the decade, going 8-0 in 1973, 6-0 in 1974, 9-0 in 1975 and 10-0 in 1977.
    • Volleyball began as a varsity sport in the fall of 1978 under the direction of Jack Snader, who led the team to a 6-9 mark in 1979. Varsity softball began in the spring of 1979, and the team finished 4-4 in its first season, also under Snader.
    • The women's swimming team went 36-14 in dual meets from 1969-70 to 1974-75, and the team's record of 9-4 in 1974-75 under coach Janet Harringer stood as the program's record-high win total until 1988-89.
    • The men's swimming team began the 1970s as possibly the College's most dominant program, going 11-1 and winning the MAC Championship in 1969-70. At the conclusion of that season, four Blue Jay swimmers –David Anstine, James Gingerich, Robert Sahms and Donald Schaeberle –earned All-America honors, the most ever from one team in a single season in school history. Anstine and Sahms repeated as All-Americans in 1970-71 as the team again ran up an 11-1 record. The team went 9-3 in 1972-73 as well.
    • Success continued for the men's soccer team throughout the 1970s, as the team went 108-49-15 and won three MAC titles during the decade. The team advanced to the NCAA Division II tournament –the only time and Elizabethtown team has ever competed in the Division II championships –in 1973, and competed in the Division III championships every year from 1975 to 1978. The 1976 team advanced to and hosted the Final Four and completed a 13-7 season. E-town athletes were named All-Americans four times in the 1970s, with James O'Donnell earning the honor twice in 1975 and 1977.
    • The men's basketball program struggled at the start of the 1970s, but after Donald Smith returned as the head coach in 1972-73, the team began to build its way back success, punctuating the end of the decade with its second MAC Championship and an NCAA Division III tournament berth while going 17-9 in 1978-79.
    • The wrestling team continued its string of outstanding seasons in the 1970s, as James Maack '71 and Mike Helm '71 became the program's first individual MAC champions at the close of the 1969-70 season. Eric Mast '77 became E-town's first two-time All-American in wrestling, as well as its first national champion in 1974 and its first to reach the 100 career victory plateau. He finished his career in 1977 with a 115-10-1 record. Ricardo Bailey also earned All-American honors in 1975, and E-town wrestlers earned individual MAC Championships 15 times between 1970 and 1979. The team compiled a 106-66-2 mark in dual matches between 1969-70 and 1978-79.
    • E-town baseball reached new heights in the 1970s, going 124-70-1 during the decade and winning three consecutive MAC championships from 1974 to 1976. The team also played in the East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) tournament in 1975 and 1976. The 1975 team set a new program record for victories, going 18-5.
    • Ending a 20-year string of losing seasons in 1972, the men's tennis team went 9-4 and ushered in a new golden era. The 1974 team went 11-1 to set a new program victory record, and the Blue Jays posted a 9-1 record in 1975. Throughout the 1970s, the men's tennis team compiled a 72-32-2 record. Outstanding players from the era included Andy Folmer '78, Pete Heisey '76 and Randy Stauffer '76.
    • Elizabethtown took its second stab at competing in men's track & field in 1975 with the launch of a new program. In a rather bizarre move, the school also dropped men's cross country from its slate of varsity sports following the fall 1977 season, thereby short-circuiting E-town's chances of overall competitiveness on the oval. The fledgling Blue Jay track & field program managed to place a respectable eighth out of 20 teams at the 1977 MAC Championships, and the team finished 10th out of 19 teams in the conference in 1978. Top competitors for E-town in the 1970s included sprinter Jim Yeingst '80, mid-distance runners Tim Moyer and Wade Pratt '80, distance runner Bob Berlin, hurdler Don Tyrie '80, jumpers Gary Fowler and Rob Wardius '76, throwers John Luzik '77 and Scott Sweitzer, and pole vaulter Tim Seager '81.
    • Also competing until being dropped from the slate of varsity sports following the 1978 season was the golf team. John Tulley took over as the head coach in 1970, and E-town had its first winning season in dual matches in 1974 when it went 7-4, and the team posted an 8-4 mark in 1975.
    • 1975 also witnessed the birth of a new Elizabethtown College institution: the Ira. R. Herr Athletic Hall of Fame. The original ten inductees were A. Warren Angstadt '30 for men's basketball and men's tennis; Guy Buch '45 for men's basketball and men's soccer; Joel Chase '67 for men's soccer; Warner Cheeks '61 for men's soccer and men's basketball; Ray Diener '65 for baseball, men's soccer and men's basketball; William Foster '54 for men's basketball and men's soccer, Alvin Hershey '64 for men's soccer and baseball; Linda Eshleman '63 for field hockey and women's tennis; Frank Keath '49 for men's basketball and men's soccer; and Sal Paone '57 for men's basketball.

1980's

  • The dawn of the 1980s ushered in an unprecedented era of national success for Blue Jay athletics. The decade immediately got off to a strong start as the women's basketball team broke the 20-win plateau for the first time in 1979-80, finished 22-6 and reached the AIAW tournament for the second straight year at the same time that the wrestling team won its first MAC team championship and had a program record three wrestlers earn All-America honors at once. The wrestling team set another program record in 1979-80 as four wrestlers became MAC individual champions. They were Jude Bervinchak at 134 pounds, Duane Maurer at 142 pounds, Kurt Anderson at 150 pounds, and Gary Sheib at 158 pounds. All but Sheib went on to become All-Americans in 1980. In the spring of 1980, the women's tennis team set a program record for wins by going 13-1, Beckie Donecker became E-town's first All-American in tennis, and javelin thrower Mike Bomberger became the first All-American from Elizabethtown in track & field. In the fall of 1980, the field hockey team advanced all the way to the AIAW Final Four, and the men's soccer team reached the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time in two years and began a run of 17 straight seasons of NCAA playoff competition.
    • A perennial national power throughout the 1980s, the men's soccer program capped off the decade by winning the NCAA Division III national championship in 1989. From 1980 to 1982 under head coach Owen Wright, the Blue Jays went 37-24-5 and reached the NCAA tournament all three years. From 1983 to 1989 under head coach Skip Roderick '74, E-town went 121-28-16, won two MAC championships in 1986 and 1987, finished as the MAC runner-up in 1988 and 1989, advanced to the NCAA tournament every year, and won the 1989 national title. E-town men's soccer players were named All-Americans eight times throughout the decade. The team's 24 wins in 1989 still stands as the program record. The team went 10-9 in the NCAA Division III tournament during the 1980s.
    • The field hockey program had an equally astonishing run of success in the 1980s. After reaching the AIAW Final Four in 1980, E-town made it to the first-ever NCAA Division III field hockey Final Four the very next year when the NCAA finally began conducting championships in women's sports in the 1981-82 academic year. E-town reached the NCAA tournament every year from 1981 to 1988, won the 1987 MAC championship, and finished as the MAC runner-up in 1983, 1984, 1986 and 1989. Throughout the 1980s, the field hockey team compiled a 146-46-13 overall record, and the 1986 team set the program record for most wins in a season by going 20-4-1. Elizabethtown field hockey players earned All-America honors six times throughout the decade.
    • The volleyball program outgrew its infancy in the early 1980s and became one of the top teams in the region for the rest of the decade. Robert Garrett took over as the head coach in 1981 and led the team to its first winning season in 1982, as the Blue Jays went 16-7. His assistant, Bill Helm, took over as the head coach in 1984 and led the team to a 26-15 finish that season. The team continued to get better, going 36-12 in 1985 and posting a program-best 45-10 mark in 1986. The team also made the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time that year. Pam Drazkowski took over as the head coach in 1988 and led the team to a 33-13 record that year. Throughout the 1980s, E-town volleyball went 231-129. The 423 career service aces racked up by Darcy Hall '89 from 1985 to 1988 remain one of the highest totals in NCAA Division III history.
    • The track & field team saw its final season in the spring of 1981, but not before enough women were competing in the sport to score as a separate squad from the men in a pair of dual meets that year. Cross country was reinstated as a varsity sport that same fall. This time around, both men and women competed in the sport, although there were not enough women to field a full team to score in meets until 1983. The head coaches through the early, reformative years of the cross country programs were John Schwanger in 1981, Joe Torchia in 1982, and Suzette Desjardin from 1983 to 1985. The 1984 men's cross country team won seven dual meets, its highest win total since 1973. In 1986, Dale Luy took the reins of both the men's and women's cross country programs, and before long had both teams consistently competing at higher level than any point since the early 1970s. The 1986 men's cross country squad finished 13th out of 24 teams at the MAC championships, its best performance there since 1974. The 1987 team won 11 dual meets, tying the program record set in 1965, and the men's team continued to finish in the middle of the MAC pack for the rest of the decade. The women's cross country team hit the 11-win mark in 1988, and the team finished eighth out of approximately 17 teams in the MAC in both 1988 and 1989.
    • The 1980s have thus far proven to be the greatest of the women's basketball program's many heydays. The team went 27-3, captured its second MAC title, and finished as the AIAW national runner-up in 1980-81. The 1981-82 season forever etched Elizabethtown College into a prominent place in the history of women's collegiate athletics. That season, the first year that NCAA championships were contested in women's basketball, E-town made the first-ever NCAA Division III tournament field, and the Blue Jays advanced to the Final Four. The host site for the inaugural NCAA Division III women's basketball Final Four and national championship game was selected, and it turned out to be none other than Elizabethtown College's own Thompson Gymnasium. The Blue Jays went on to win the first NCAA Division III national championship in women's basketball ever contested, and they did it right here in their own gym. The Blue Jays finished the season with a 26-1 overall record, setting a new program record for best winning percentage in a season at .962.
      • The women's basketball team finished as the NCAA Division III national runner-up in both 1982-83 and 1983-84, going 23-5 in 1982-83 and finishing 29-2 and winning a third MAC Championship in 1983-84. For the fourth year in a row, the women's basketball team had competed in a national championship game. One can be certain that a program has reached an elite level when it goes 17-7 and is regarded as having an off year, which is exactly what happened in 1984-85. The following year, the team bounced back to a 24-6 finish with its fourth MAC title and a return to the NCAA Division III tournament after a one-year lapse. The Blue Jays had back-to-back 25 win seasons in 1986-87 and 1987-88, reached the NCAA tournament both years, and won the MAC championship again in the latter year. In the final season of the decade, 1988-89, E-town won its second NCAA Division III national women's basketball championship, becoming the first team ever to do so, won its sixth MAC championship, and finished 29-2 for the second time in its history.
      • Over the course of the years from 1980-81 to 1988-89, the Elizabethtown women's basketball team played in five national championship games, won two national titles, took part in seven NCAA tournaments and one AIAW tournament, won five conference championships, went 225-33 overall, and posted a 40-11 record in the postseason. Seven Blue Jays were named first team All-Americans during that span, including two, Page Lutz '84 and Jane Meyer '86, who were named the National Player of the Year. Lutz set the program record for most career points with 1,757, and Meyer set the record for most points in a year with 683.
    • The men's basketball team fielded solid teams throughout the 1980s as well, compiling an overall record of 112-113 from 1980-81 to 1988-89. Some outstanding players came through the E-town program during those years, including Steve Swope '87, who broke the program record for most points in a career that had stood since 1949, and he concluded his career with 1,926 points. In 1987, Swope became the program's first All-American. Jim Hepfer '90 became the men's basketball program's second All-American three years later, and he finished his career with 1,867 points. Damian Burnside '85 set program records for most steals in a career (235) and most assists in a career (521) that remain intact today.
      • Donald Smith retired in 1988 with a 331-275 record as head coach of the men's basketball team in 26 seasons, and he was succeeded by Donald Marsh in the 1988-89 season. Dave Lebo took over later in 1989 and guided the team through the 1989-90 season.
    • The wrestling team began the 1980s by winning the MAC championship, and the team finished the decade with back-to-back 16-win seasons, program records at the time, in 1987-88 and 1988-89. After having three wrestlers earn All-America honors in 1980, the next E-town wrestler to accomplish the feat was Tim Gerber in 1989. In the 1988-89 season, Gerber posted a 40-5-1 record, the most wins ever for an E-town wrestler in a single season at the time. Dave Chute won back-to-back MAC individual championships in 1982 and 1983, and Dino Delviscio captured a MAC title in 1986.
    • Dave Parry '86 became Elizabethtown's only All-American in diving in 1986 for the men's swimming team. Walter B. Shaw took over as the head coach of the swimming teams in 1979-80 and led the programs until 1983-84. Warren L. Hayman and Rusty Owens succeeded him as head coaches for successive two-year stints, and Mike Guinivan took over as head swimming coach in 1988-89. That year, the men's swimming team went 6-6 for its best dual meet finish since 1972-73, and the women's swimming team posted an 11-2 dual record, its best ever to that point. Julie Phillips was one of the top women's swimmers of the era, and her best 50 and 100 yard freestyle times remain the top standards in the events at E-town today.
    • As the 1980s began, the women's tennis team saw its first player earn All-America status when Beckie Donecker received the honor in 1980. In the spring of 1981, she and Jen Haifley teamed up to win the AIAW national doubles championship, and the two both earned All-America honors. Donecker became a three-time All-American in 1982 when she capped her career by winning the first NCAA Division III national singles championship.
      • Bob Schott took over as head coach of the women's tennis program in 1984 and immediately led the team to a 10-2 record that spring. Over the course of the decade, the women's tennis program ran up a 72-47 record.
    • The 1980s proved to be very good to the men's tennis program as well, going 65-59 from 1980 to 1989 and posting a 10-3 record in 1981. Joe Kramer '83 ran up a 68-34 overall mark in both singles and doubles play at the beginning of the decade, and Mike Bailey '89 dominated the end of the decade for E-town, posting a 70-34 overall record. Dave Cressman '86 was one of the top players in the mid-80s, going 59-33 overall. Robert Garrett retired at the conclusion of the 1988 season, and Bob Schott began doing double duty as the head coach of both the men's and women's tennis teams in 1989.
    • The Elizabethtown baseball program, which had always been rather successful, hit its stride in the 1980s. In Owen Wright's final season as the head coach in 1983, the team made its first trip to the NCAA Division III tournament and produced a 22-16 record, the most wins in a season ever for the team at the time. Under Roger Hall, who guided the team from 1984 to 1987, the next season, E-town went one better and posted a 23-16 mark. In 1987, the team went 24-17. John Gergic took over as the head coach in 1988 and led the team to a breakthrough 31-7 season where the Blue Jays captured the MAC title and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second time. The team went 189-142 over the course of the decade.
      • Outstanding baseball players from the era included Will Nicolls '89, who hit .494 in 1987 and posted a .385 career average, Andy Barrick, who hit .504, drove in 62 runs and hit 13 home runs in 1988, Darrell Justh '89, who drove in 109 runs from 1986-89 and owns the program record for most career home runs with 16, and Brad Hassinger '90, who struck out 217 batters and won 21 games on the mound from 1987 to 1990.
    • As the 1980s progressed, the softball team evolved from a new program to a regional power. Diane Hiestand took over the team for the 1981 season, and Barb Reuter became the head coach in 1982 and set the program on a path to success. In 1984, the team had its first season with a record above .500, going 11-8-1 and making the MAC playoffs for the first time. In Reuter's final season, 1985, the team went 13-11. Barb Shenk took the reins of the team in 1986 and led it to an 18-6 finish with another MAC playoff appearance. In 1987, the team won its first MAC championship and went 25-3. The team repeated as MAC champion in 1988 and advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time ever en route to finishing 25-5. Pam Drazkowski took over as the head coach in 1989.
      • Among the standout players from the time period, Lori Lobb '89 set the program record for highest career batting average, hitting .431 from 1986 to 1989. Lobb also scored 96 runs and drove in 76 runs, both program career records. Karen Barclay '90 batted .372 from 1987 to 1990. In the circle, Tammy McDonald '88 won 63 games, struck out 360 batters, threw 64 complete games and hurled 13 shutouts in 492 innings of work from 1985-88.
    • The Elizabethtown athletic program expanded again near the close of the decade. Varsity golf was reinstated and began its first season in the spring of 1988 under head coach Royal Snavely. That first year was a memorable one, as Greg Millen '88 finished second at the MAC championships and went on to compete at the NCAA Division III championships, where placed 25th in the nation.
    • After several years as a club team, varsity women's soccer was launched in the fall of 1988 as well under the auspices of head coach Jim Jones. In only its second season, the women's soccer team posted its first winning record, going 8-6-1 overall.

1990's

  • The 1990s began with Elizabethtown College possessing one of the most consistently successful athletic programs in NCAA Division III, a feature that has continued to distinguish the College today. The Middle Atlantic Conference, once a sprawling entity of over 25 schools, saw massive changes occur to its structure in 1993 after several schools left the organization, leaving it with its current slate of 16 institutions divided between two groups.
    • The women's soccer team spent the decade developing into one of the nation's best. The 1990s began with a bang for the team, as it went 13-1-1 under new head coach Ed Batistsa, and Amy Hyde '93 became the program's first All-American that year. Hyde finished her career with 63 goals, 30 assists and 156 points.
      • Barry Dohner '83 took over as the head coach of the women's soccer program in 1994, and by 1996 he had led the team to its first MAC championship and an 18-2-2 record. In 1997, the team made the NCAA Division III tournament field for the first time, and it advanced all the way to the Final Four, which it also hosted at Herr Field. The team finished 19-4-3 overall, and defender Amy Bender '98 became the program's second All-American. E-town made it to the NCAA tournament every year from 1997 to 1999, and the team won its second MAC championship in 1998. Kristy Wade '00 set E-town program records in goals scored (68) and points (171) while playing from 1996 to 1999.
    • The men's soccer team continued its successes in the 1990s, reaching the NCAA tournament every year from 1990 to 1996 as well as returning to the tournament in 1999. The team won MAC championships in 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1996 and 1999, and it finished as the MAC runner-up in 1995 and 1997. The men's soccer team went 182-35-12 throughout the 1990s. E-town men's soccer players were named All-Americans eight times in the decade, with Jay Varrato and Robbie Martin both becoming two-time All-Americans in 1990.
    • The volleyball team entered the 1990s by going 25-17 in the first year. Drazkowski's last season as the head coach was 1992, and Dave Moyer and Mike McPhee served as the team's coaches during the 1993 season. Bill Helm returned as head coach in 1994 and led the team to one of the biggest one-season turnarounds in college history, going 21-13 in 1994 after winning three matches the previous season. The team went 27-16 in 1995 and 24-11 in 1996. Liz Bishard '98 set program records for most kills in a career with 1,295 and most digs in a career with 1,440.
    • The field hockey team saw its share of strong seasons throughout the 1990s as well, going 15-5 in 1994, 14-4 in 1995, and 14-5 in 1996. Heidi Balmer '96 became an All-American in 1995, and Maggie Nelis '97 set a program record for most assists in a career with 38 from 1993 to 1996.
    • Bob Schott guided the women's tennis team to a 31-13 record from 1990 to the spring of 1993. Women's tennis switched from playing in the spring to playing in the fall in 1993, and Kathy Montgomery took over as the head coach in the fall of 1993. That year, the team went 11-1 and won its first MAC title. The team won its second MAC championship in 1995, going 13-4 overall. Froujke Taconis became the first E-town women's tennis player to win the MAC individual singles championship in 1995. Kara Metzger '96 ran up a 79-14 record, the highest win total in program history , from the spring of 1993 to the fall of 1995, and Michelle Artz '94 posted a 70-17 overall record from the spring of 1991 to the fall of 1993. George Zink took over as the head coach in 1999.
    • The women's cross country team finished as the MAC runner-up in both 1993 and 1994, and the Blue Jays placed third in the conference in 1995 with an 8-1 dual meet record. Jennifer Lynn '96 became E-town's second All-MAC runner in 1993, and Mindy Enterline '96 became the fourth in 1994. From 1990 to 1997, the Blue Jay women's cross country program compiled a dual meet record of 55-28.
      • In men's cross country, E-town finished its dual meet season 9-7 in 1990 and 8-6-1 in 1991. The 1996 team finished seventh at the MAC championship, its highest finish since 1972. 1994 team captain John Leaman '95 became Elizabethtown College's first Rhodes Scholar.
      • Collegiate cross country changed more over the course of the 1990s than any other sport Elizabethtown sponsored. As the decade went on, the traditional dual meet season that used to be one of a team's main focuses was gradually scrapped in favor of large invitationals. As a result, fewer races were contested, and by the end of the decade, the focus of the cross country season had shifted to the very end, at the conference and regional championship meets, with only one or two dual meets being held each year.
      • Another major change in cross country that was specific to Elizabethtown College occurred in 1998, when the decision was made to bring back track & field as a varsity sport at the College. Although the track & field teams would not compete at the varsity level until January 2000, Chris Straub was hired as the new men's and women's track & field and men's and women's cross country coach in the summer of 1998 to begin building the programs.
      • The distance element of the men's track & field program wound up being built very quickly, and in 1999, the men's cross country team won its first MAC title since 1965, and the team qualified as a unit to compete in the NCAA Division III championship for the first time, where it placed 24th in the nation. Larry Bullock '00 finished as the MAC individual runner-up in men's cross country 1999, spearheading a group of seven E-town runners who finished in the top twenty.
      • In the fall of 1998, Jen Olmstead '99 became the fourth E-town women's cross country runner to earn a spot on the All-MAC team, and Maggie Martin '03 followed in 1999.
    • The 1990s witnessed a renaissance in swimming at Elizabethtown. In 1991-92, the men's swimming team finished 8-6, its best record since 1972-73, and it placed seventh at the MAC championships, its best finish since 1976-77. 1992-93 proved to be a record-setting season for the men's swimming squad, as it posted a 17-0 dual meet record, and it placed fourth at the MAC championships, it's best finish there since 1972-73. The team improved to second in the MAC in 1993-94 while going 9-4 in dual meets, and the 1994-95 men's swimming team won its first MAC title since 1969-70 while compiling a 9-5 record. The E-town men's swimming team finished second at the MAC championships in both 1995-96 and 1996-97.
      • The women's swimming team built a bit more slowly than the men, but by 1993-94 and 1994-95, it was finishing fourth at the MAC championships. In 1995-96 and 1996-97, the team moved up to second in the MAC championship standings. The 1995-96 team tore through its dual meet season, going 13-3, while the 1996-97 team went 11-6. In 1997-98, the team again went 13-3 in its dual meet season, and at the end of the season it captured its first MAC championship ever. The women's swimming team repeated as MAC champion in 1998-99, and it went 15-2 in its dual meet season, its best record ever.
      • From 1996 to 1999, breaststroke and individual medley specialist Jackie Zimmerman '99 distinguished herself by being named an All-American all four years of her collegiate career. To this day, she is the only Elizabethtown College athlete to accomplish the feat.
    • The wrestling team began the decade by completing the 1989-90 season with a 21-5 overall record, the most wins in dual matches in a single season in the history of the program. In 1990-91, Dane Delozier became an All-American. In 1992-93, Mike Ahern completed his career with a 122-20 overall record, the most career victories for an E-town wrestler in the history of the program. Eric Mast took over as the head coach of the wrestling team in 1993-94 and 1994-95, and Steve Capoferri became the head wrestling coach in 1995-96. That year witnessed a two pronged assault on the E-town record for most wins in a season, which stood at 40 since 1989. Bryan Zeamer finished the season with a 40-7 record, while Justin Barbush completed the season with a 41-3 mark. Both became All-Americans that season as well. The 1997-98 wrestling team went 18-7 in dual matches and had three Blue Jays earn individual MAC titles. From 1990-91 to 1998-99, the wrestling team went 104-80-3.
    • After a brief rebuilding period following the women's basketball team's 1989 national championship, the Blue Jays found themselves back in the MAC playoffs in 1991 and back in the NCAA Division III tournament in 1994. The women's basketball team made the NCAA tournament field every year from 1993-94 to 1996-97, and the 1994-95 team won the MAC championship while going 23-5 overall. The 1998-99 team went 25-4 overall and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament. From 1990-91 to 1998-99, the women's basketball team compiled a 173-78 record.
      • The women's basketball program hit a significant milestone in the 1998-99 season when it became the first collegiate women's basketball program in any NCAA division to record 800 all-time victories. Today, Elizabethtown remains the all-time win leader in Division III.
    • Bob Schlosser became the head men's basketball coach in 1990-91 and guided the team to the NCAA tournament in 1992-93, as the team that year compiled a 19-7 record. Every year from 1995-96 to 1998-99, the men's basketball team won either 15 or 16 games. The team went 128-101 from 1990-91 to 1998-99. Ryan Billet '98 was the top scorer for E-town in the 1990s, compiling 1,657 points, the fourth-best total in program history.
    • The baseball team continued its run of success as the 1991 team went 26-9-1 and reached the NCAA tournament for the third time in its history. In 1993, E-town won the MAC championship, went 26-7 overall and made its fourth trip to the NCAA tournament. In 1994, the baseball team went 33-11 and made it to the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row. Gary Pritchard took over as the head baseball coach at E-town in 1997 and led the team through the 1999 season. The 1997 team finished 22-11 and reached the NCAA tournament for the fourth time of the decade and the sixth time in the history of the program. During the decade, E-town baseball ran up a 238-120 record.
      • Gary Yeager, Jr. '95 was a two-time All-American and Academic All-American for the baseball team in 1994 and 1995. The pitcher tied the record for most strikeouts in a season in 1995 with 93, and in just two seasons at E-town, he recorded 20 victories. His 11 wins in 1995 remains a program record, as does his 11 complete games that season. Chris Grubb '93 set an E-town record for most career hits with 164 between 1990 and 1993, and Ian Smeltz '96 recorded 161 hits in his career and set the E-town career stolen base record with 59.
    • The softball team finished as the MAC runner-up in 1992 with a 24-9 record, and the 1994 team, under first year head coach Wendy Snyder, went 22-10 and returned to the MAC playoffs. Barb Shenk returned as the head coach in 1997 and led the team to a 18-15 finish that year. Kim Hampson '94 scored 96 runs, tying the program record, drove in 74 runs, hit a record 16 triples, and stole a program record 52 bases while batting .333 from 1991 to 1994. Jodi Kuehn batted .341 from 1994 to 1996, and Monica Lehman batted .349 over 1992 and 1993. In the circle, Linda Milnes '99 struck out 113 batters in 1999, setting a program record at the time, and Sallie Mohr won 31 games from 1994 to 1997. The softball team went 202-143-1 throughout the 1990s.
    • The men's tennis team went 10-3 in 1991 and 12-2 in 1992. Skip Roderick took over as the head coach in 1994 and led the team to a 9-6 finish in 1995. Kathy Montgomery became the head men's tennis coach in 1997, and in 1998, she led the team to a 15-4 overall mark, the highest win total in the history of the program. In 1998, MAC individual singles champion Wieger Moen went 29-1 overall and was 20-0 in singles competition. Jon Flood '98 compiled a 37-21 career record in singles and a 63-48 overall record from 1995 to 1998. Over the course of the decade, the men's tennis program compiled a 73-59 overall record.
    • Elizabethtown's golf program developed into a consistent winner in the 1990s, compiling a 53-22 record in dual matches. However, as in cross country, by the end of the decade, dual matches became less frequent and less important in golf than the end-of-season MAC championships and large tournaments throughout the season. In the opening years of the decade, the Blue Jays rattled off three consecutive undefeated seasons in dual matches under head coach Royal Snavely, as the team went 9-0 in 1990 and 1991, and 7-0 in 1992. Joe Shull '93 finished third at the 1992 MAC championship. Keith Marks took over as the program's head coach in 1995, and that year Ben Smith '98 became the College's first MAC individual champion in golf.
    • The decade also saw the passing of a very significant torch. Ken Ober retired as athletic director in 1995 and died November 13, 1996. Ober was one of the most influential figures in the history of Blue Jay athletics. He served as athletic director for 14 years and 29 years as head wrestling coach. He was one of only 13 NCAA wrestling coaches to register 300 dual match victories. During his tenure, he coached 28 MAC champions, 11 All-Americans, and the College's only individual NCAA champion, Eric Mast '77. He also coached the men's cross country team from 1964-77, leading the 1965 squad to a MAC title.
    • The role of athletic director was assumed upon Ober's retirement by Nancy Latimore, the first woman to hold this position in the College's history. Latimore has overseen the expansion of Blue Jay varsity and intramural athletic programs, including the re-introduction of men's and women's track & field and men's and women's lacrosse. She has also been instrumental in the construction of a new championship-quality track, an artificial turf surface that accommodates lacrosse, field hockey, and intramurals, and the construction of new ballparks for softball and baseball. Under her leadership, in NCAA circles the name of Elizabethtown College has become synonymous with success.

2000's

  • Although the 21st century is still very young, it has been packed with standout Blue Jay athletic performances. Another feature that has defined the past few years at E-town has been change. Beginning in the 2000-01 academic year, most team sports in the MAC that receive automatic conference qualifier NCAA tournament bids stopped competing for a MAC championship; instead most E-town team sports now compete for a Commonwealth Conference championship and the automatic NCAA tournament bid that goes with it. Since 2000, a full outdoor track and field facility has been constructed where the softball and field hockey fields once stood. The softball field now overlooks the soccer stadium, which now has lights, and the new artificial turf field hockey and lacrosse field, which also has lights, occupies the space of a former parking lot. This, of course, means that there are now also Blue Jay lacrosse teams to play on the aforementioned field. Construction continues on Kevin Scott Boyd Stadium, which will become the new home of the Blue Jay baseball team this spring. The old Ira R. Herr baseball field will be converted to practice fields in the near future. Eventually, Thompson Gym will be renovated, and a field house with much-needed indoor practice facilities and storage and office space will be added.
    • The accomplishments of the last few years have been impressive: the men's cross country team is currently riding a streak of five straight conference titles; it finished 14th in the nation in 2001 and 15th in the nation at the NCAA championships in 2002, and won its first regional title ever in 2002. Dave Berdan '04 became E-town's first MAC individual cross country champion in 2001, and Dustin Scott '03 duplicated the feat in 2002. Also in 2001, Scott became E-town's first men's cross country All-American ever. In 2002, in addition to finishing 15th in the nation over hill and dale, the men's cross country team also ranked first in the nation in the classroom with the highest team cumulative GPA out of all NCAA Division III men's cross country programs in the nation.
    • In women's cross country, Melissa St. Clair '05 became E-town's first All-American in the sport just a few weeks ago, and the team placed eighth at the Mideast Regional in 2003 for its highest regional finish ever. Mike Dager, who was the assistant coach for both the women's and men's cross country programs from 1998 to 2001, became the head women's cross country coach in 2002.
    • The men's soccer team has advanced to the Commonwealth Conference championship game three times in the last four years, and the women's soccer team competed in the 2001 NCAA tournament. Bryan Hoy '01 and Brad Confer ‘03 were named the men's soccer program's most recent All-Americans in 2000 and 2002, respectively, and Dina Jingoli '02 was named the most recent women's soccer All-American in 2001. The women's soccer team has had a player named an Academic All-American for each of the last three consecutive years, the most recent being defender Megan Halladay '04 in back-to-back seasons in 2002 and 2003.
    • In 2000, the field hockey team, en route to a 15-5 season and its first postseason appearance in nearly a decade, handed head coach Yvonne Kauffman her 1,000th career victory combined among field hockey, women's basketball, and women's tennis. Under head coach Stacy Rucci in 2001, the team came one overtime goal shy of a conference championship, finishing as the runner-up with an 11-9 mark. Under head coach Aimee Seward in 2002, the team again reached the postseason and finished 10-6 overall. Mindy Nace '03 was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and became the field hockey program's second Academic All-American in the span of three years.
    • Matt Helsel took over as the head coach of the women's tennis team in 2002, and it is currently undergoing a renaissance begun at the beginning of the decade. In 2003, the Blue Jays had their best season since 1996, posting a 9-4 overall record and missing a post-season appearance by the margin of a single match.
    • Also posting its best record since 1996 this fall was the volleyball team, which went 18-9 this year under head coach Randall Kreider, who has been at the helm of the program since 2002 and came aboard as an assistant in 2001. Emily Morris '04 shattered the career record for digs in 2003, finishing with 1,895. She also compiled the second-highest career total in kills at E-town with 1,188.
    • The women's basketball team won the Commonwealth Conference championship and returned to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Division III tournament in 2001, and it concluded the 2000-01 season with a 20-6 overall record.
    • The men's basketball program advanced to a higher level than it had ever been before as the 21st century began. The 2000-01 team went 20-6 and finished as the Commonwealth Conference runner-up. In 2001-02, the Blue Jays shattered almost every team season record in existence en route to capturing the Commonwealth title, advancing all the way to the NCAA Division III national championship game, and concluding the season 29-3 overall as the national runner-up. The 2002-03 team finished 18-9, won the Commonwealth championship and reached the NCAA tournament for the second straight year, both of which were previously unaccomplished feats in the history of the men's basketball program. In the past couple of seasons, three players: Bob Porambo '02, Brian Loftus '03 and Jon English '03, all became 1,000 career point-scorers.
    • The wrestling team saw two of its members, Art Mattes '01 and Bill Van Winkle '01, reach the 100 career-win plateau together in the same season in 2000-01, the first time that ever happened in the history of the program. Eric Walker became the program's head coach in the summer of 2003.
    • The men's and women's swimming teams have seen quite a bit of success as well, most notably as Casey Moore '04 became the men's program's latest All-American at the conclusion of the 2000-01 season. Recent alumnae like Brooke Knepper '01, Lindsay Texter '01, and Sarah Bradley '02 posted some of the top times in E-town history in their events.
    • The baseball team continued its long run of success. Matt Jones took over as the team's head coach in 2000 and led the Blue Jays to back-to-back Commonwealth titles and NCAA tournament appearances in 2000 and 2001. The 2003 team finished as the conference runner-up. Bryan Pittinger '01 became the first true closer in E-town history and racked up 19 career saves, a program record, as well as one of the highest totals in NCAA Division III history.
    • Entering the 2002 season, the softball team, which was coming off the heels of an 11-19 season the previous year and had a new coaching staff with head coach Diane Lokey and assistant Kathy Staib, was picked to finish last in the conference pre-season coaches' poll. Instead, the softball team put together one of the most surprising seasons by any team in school history, shattering the program record for wins by going 30-12 and reaching the post-season for the first time since 1994. The 2003 team took things a step further, finishing as the Commonwealth Conference runner-up rather than just a semifinalist. Michelle Morris '04 emerged as one of the best pitchers in E-town history, striking out a program-record 177 batters in a season as well as becoming the first single-season 20 game winner ever at E-town in 2002, and setting new season records for innings pitched and appearances in 2003. The 54 base hits by shortstop Emily Morris '04 in 2002 set a new E-town single-season record as well. Staib has recently taken over as the program's head coach and will guide the team into 2004.
    • The golf team has gradually improved its positioning in the MAC championship in recent years, most recently finishing fourth in 2003. Charlie Haines '04 and Chris Bowen-Ashwin '03 placed fourth and ninth in the conference, respectively, to earn first team All-MAC honors, and Bobby Stiffler '05 placed 17th to earn a spot on the All-MAC second team in 2003.
    • Since 2000, the men's tennis team has posted a 37-21 overall record. Jon Flood '98 coached the team in 2000 and 2001 and led it to a combined 15-8 record in those two years. Matt Helsel took over the program in 2002, and guided the 2003 team to a 12-4 overall mark, one of the best seasons in the history of E-town men's tennis. In 2002, Bill Miller '02 finished as the MAC individual runner-up in singles competition, and in 2000, Scott Czerwonka '00 and Tom Height finished as the MAC individual runner-up team in doubles.
    • When it comes to track and field at Elizabethtown, the old saying, "the third time's a charm" has certainly proven true. In just four short years of varsity competition, the men's and women's track & field programs have developed into two of the most successful programs at E-town today. The men's track & field team won the 2003 MAC indoor championship in just its fourth year of varsity competition –the least amount of time any program at Elizabethtown has taken to win a conference title since its inception. Also in 2003, Jason Patterson '06 became the program's first two-time All-American, as he earned the honor in both the indoor and outdoor triple jump. Since 2000, the members of the men's track & field team have brought home 22 MAC gold medals, and the members of the women's track & field team have won 15 MAC gold medals.
    • Although the two newest programs –men's and women's lacrosse –only got underway in the spring of 2002, they have likewise wasted no time in carving out a prominent place for themselves in the history of E-town athletics.
    • The men's lacrosse team, under head coach Chuck Maloy, finished 7-7 overall in just its second season of existence in 2003. The team remained in the race for a post-season bid until the very last day of the season, and the team, which has quickly established a reputation for its stifling defense, achieved a rare shutout in 2003.
    • The women's lacrosse team, under head coach Aimee Seward, won the NCAA Division III national statistical title for most draw controls in 2003, also just the team's second season of existence. One of its players, Liz Fretz '05, hit the 100 career goal plateau before the conclusion of her sophomore year in 2003.
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About Elizabethtown College

About Elizabethtown College

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